Psychoanalysis, the Child in

From the inception of psychoanalysis in the early 1890s, the figure of the child has been central. Working retrospectively to make sense of the symptoms of his adult patients, Sigmund Freud advanced a model of development beginning in early childhood based on instincts and drives. During the years of his practice, consultation, research, and writing, Freud’s ideas changed and during his life and since, Freud’s understanding of childhood and development have been affirmed, challenged, expanded upon, and in some cases, dismissed by researchers and practitioners both within and outside of psychoanalytic schools of thought.

Across the many schools of psychoanalytic thought, childhood remains a privileged site for the foundation and formation of personality, belief, and action, and psychoanalysis is conceptualized as building upon and/or repairing unconscious ...

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